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Advice needed after equipment change leaves us without bassinet seat

Advice needed after equipment change leaves us without bassinet seat

Old Aug 13, 18, 5:52 am
  #1  
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Advice needed after equipment change leaves us without bassinet seat

Hi everyone

I wonder if i could trouble you for some advice and any experience. I'm travelling in Y with my family on BA229 to BWI on Wednesday. There's been an equipment change from a 788 to a 789, and as a result our nice three seat bassinet position in row 20 doesn't exist anymore, and they've moved us (2 adults, a 4 year old and a 5 month old) to the back of the plane, where we will need to hold our baby for the eight hour flight.

No other option, apparently. Computer says no for moving the people out of the only remaining bassinet position in Y (the bassinet seat itself is free, but the ones either side are already allocated), and they won't upgrade us to WTP. I can't upgrade us because we inadvertently have a ticket that was too low price to be upgradable with Avios, and I suspect the cash amount (if it's possible) would be eye-watering.

There's reward availability on the outbound flight, but not my inbound from BOS on the 31st (although there probably will be in about a week's time based on how reward flights have been appearing), and the amount I would get back from cancelling my existing booking would be tiny, so it would cost me 1,000 at least to fly WTP on a reward flight out, and I can't organise it coming back.

Not appealing at all, in any sense. The only option seemingly is to split us up and hope the children don't need more than one parent's attention at any one time...

Has anyone seen this sort of problem before, and found a resolution? I know that we could ask nicely at check in if those people sitting either side of the bassinet seat would consent to being moved so that we could sit together, but if I'd paid 30 or whatever for a seat with extra legroom, I wouldn't be too keen to let it go.

It's all a bit of a shambles, and BA just aren't interested in sorting it, despite "having sympathy" for our situation.

All suggestions appreciated - I know we have at least got the option for the baby being in the bassinet seat, but if there's a way to make it better, I'd love to hear it!
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Old Aug 13, 18, 5:59 am
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I suggest you put one parent in the bassinet seat and get to the airport early and ask others to be reseated at the bassinet position. Worst case one of you gets the bassinet, you can trade off sitting there with begin at the back every so often. Best case it happens as you want.
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Old Aug 13, 18, 6:46 am
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Thanks...

I was also advised to call the customer relations line by the guy in India who couldn't help me...

Called that, and it says that they're busy and then it hangs up...

Going to vote with my feet from now on, I think...
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Old Aug 13, 18, 7:12 am
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Not appealing at all, in any sense. The only option seemingly is to split us up and hope the children don't need more than one parent's attention at any one time...
I appreciate it isn't ideal and not at all what you booked and what you were expecting, but plenty of people travel alone with one child all the time.
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Old Aug 13, 18, 7:20 am
  #5  
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Originally Posted by bluemoon68 View Post
I appreciate it isn't ideal and not at all what you booked and what you were expecting, but plenty of people travel alone with one child all the time.
Yes, I'm not panicking about it, but at the same time, it shouldn't be this way. We had booked so that we could enjoy the journey together and help each other out with our children. If BA are going to have to move people around because of an equipment issue, then fine, but they should be trying to keep groups together, and trying to keep babies next to bassinets. They've done the wrong thing here. I just wondered if anyone had experience of ways that BA had successfully dealt with it, or is it just tough sh*t?
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Old Aug 13, 18, 7:22 am
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BA will not generally move people out of seats unless they must do so, e.g., one parent with the children. Equipment swaps are part of life and occur on all carriers (except the LCC's which don't have equipment to swap and simply cancel). Looking at your post, I am not sure what you expect BA to do in this situation. It has moved two other families requiring a bassinet into bassinet seats. In the pecking order for seats, they should come before your non-bassinet needs. You are free to vote with your feet, but you are not being fobbed off, you are simply asking for what can only be done by inconveniencing others and in commercial aviation, it is about the best for the most. Either you sit together and hold the infant (pretty much standard on most carriers) or you split up and everybody gets a decent if not perfect seat.

Your options seem to be to move one parent + infant to bassinet. Other parent with the two older children to the back. Many people travel single with 1-2 children and it can be tiresome, but hardly a serious burden. But, you know your children and we do not. The two parents can also swap during the flight if that makes things easier.

Alternatively and depending on your destination, e.g. Washington or Baltimore or perhaps elsewhere, you could look at availability on services to IAD or PHL and ask BA to make that change for you. BA may or may not want to charge a fee here because it really has no obligation beyond what it is doing. Changing to IAD or PHL may have logistical challenges which exceed your BWI flight, so need to consider those in the mix before even asking.

As others note, if you stick with BWI, simply see what can be done as the flight approaches, at the check-in counter and at the gate. People cancel, misconnect, and simply no show.
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Old Aug 13, 18, 7:37 am
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first i sympathise with you and have to say it is bad form when BA refuse to honour original seat requests during equipment swaps, and your carefully layed plans go to ruin. absolutely should not happen.

I have a stopgap solution here.

Get 1 adult split off the booking.

Then come check-in (and please make your OH stay away and not be known to the check in agent) time, your 4yo and yourself (+ infant) should be seated together (as its BA policy to seat children with parents).
It does not solve the problem where your other half will be seated away - but at least it gives you that little more space, which in my experience makes some difference when trying to tend to an infant in a bassinet seat.

Upside: if you OH gets a good seat without anyone beside them, maybe your other neighbour will be amenable for a swap!

Permutation: get your other half upgraded (pts etc) - this should increase the chance of your neighbour wanting to do a swap

it would be horrible (for you and your neighbours) in my view to get the solo bassinet in the middle seat. it would make like a bit better if you could get 1 aisle seat either side. having said that, it is entirely possible for 1 adult to travel with 1 infant (and another child too).

Last edited by ermen; Aug 13, 18 at 7:46 am
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Old Aug 13, 18, 7:57 am
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Originally Posted by ermen View Post
first i sympathise with you and have to say it is bad form when BA refuse to honour original seat requests during equipment swaps, and your carefully layed plans go to ruin. absolutely should not happen.

I have a stopgap solution here.

Get 1 adult split off the booking.

Then come check-in (and please make your OH stay away and not be known to the check in agent) time, your 4yo and yourself (+ infant) should be seated together (as its BA policy to seat children with parents).
It does not solve the problem where your other half will be seated away - but at least it gives you that little more space, which in my experience makes some difference when trying to tend to an infant in a bassinet seat.
I see what you're driving at here, but isn't there a risk that the OP will end up in a worse scenario than they are now? If BA have hitherto shown reluctance to move the other passengers from 30D and 30F, is there not the possibility that in order to keep the family together the adult+2 children will be seated at the rear, and back to the scenario of a babe-in-arms for the flight? From my reading, this is essentially where BA put them after the aircraft swap but now you'll be dealing with 2 PNRs, and the OP's partner may not even get to be beside them, which is the worst of all worlds.

Permutation: get your other half upgraded (pts etc) - this should increase the chance of your neighbour wanting to do a swap
A fair point, but the original post noted Avios upgrades were out due to ticket class, so you'd be looking at change+fare difference or AUPs I guess.
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Old Aug 13, 18, 8:42 am
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Looking at the numbers (and this is admittedly akin to FT witchcraft in terms of scientific rigour) I don't think WT on the outbound service is full. It's G8 and L2 which suggests quite a few spare seats, assuming it has been recalibrated for the lost of 27 WT seats on the 787-9. So I'm wondering if you get to the airport in good time whether you can persuade an agent to come up with a seat configuration which has an extra seat in the block for you. For example row 41 is completely clear, and the curvature of the aircraft and lack of a window makes 41A and 41K a bit of a poor seat for adults. But I doubt it would be noticeable to children. There is a family check-in area in zone A (far North).
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Old Aug 13, 18, 8:50 am
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Originally Posted by Midlander View Post
No other option, apparently. Computer says no for moving the people out of the only remaining bassinet position in Y (the bassinet seat itself is free, but the ones either side are already allocated), and they won't upgrade us to WTP. I can't upgrade us because we inadvertently have a ticket that was too low price to be upgradable with Avios, and I suspect the cash amount (if it's possible) would be eye-watering.
!
So take the seat with the bassinet for 1 adult - when the people either side are greeted with (the potential for) a screaming 5 month-old they'll sharpish agree to swapping their seats away!
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Old Aug 13, 18, 9:15 am
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Originally Posted by Often1 View Post
It has moved two other families requiring a bassinet into bassinet seats. In the pecking order for seats, they should come before your non-bassinet needs.
No, there is only one bassinet seat in Y on a 789. That's the problem. It's in row 30, in the centre. So 30D and 30F have more than likely been allocated to those with status, or to those who have paid to reserve them. The equipment change means that it's all change in the seating, but BA have moved 4 people who had a bassinet seat to a place without and the only other option is for us to be split up, and be several rows apart. The sensible option would have been to move the only people who had booked bassinet seats to the bank of seats with a bassinet, and then move the two passengers in D and F somewhere else... Then people would have seats based on their need.

Originally Posted by babats View Post
So take the seat with the bassinet for 1 adult - when the people either side are greeted with (the potential for) a screaming 5 month-old they'll sharpish agree to swapping their seats away!
My friend suggested that we should put the baby in the bassinet, and the 4 year old in the seat with it, make them angry and then the two adults sit at the back on the plane...

That's probably the best plan...
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Old Aug 13, 18, 9:21 am
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The people in 30D/F may be together and just trying to get an empty seat, so may happily move when faced with it being taken.
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Old Aug 13, 18, 9:30 am
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Unless I'm much mistaken 30E is already taken, not blocked.
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Old Aug 13, 18, 9:41 am
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Originally Posted by corporate-wage-slave View Post
Unless I'm much mistaken 30E is already taken, not blocked.
That showed for me earlier, I assumed the OP had moved one adult to that location (perhaps they could confirm?)
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Old Aug 13, 18, 9:41 am
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Originally Posted by corporate-wage-slave View Post
Unless I'm much mistaken 30E is already taken, not blocked.
Yes, by me.
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